Chinese police have released footage to prove that a former UK consulate worker, who claimed to be tortured by them, had regularly’ visited a club to solicit prostitutes’ before being detained.
Simon Cheng Man-kit, a Hong Kong citizen, claimed he was shackled to a steel ‘tiger chair’, hung spread-eagled on a ‘steep X-Cross’ and beaten while he was detained for 15 days in August in Shenzhen.
The 29-year-old man also said that Chinese secret police had accused him of being a spy for Britain and interrogated him about UK’s role in anti-government protests in his hometown.
Police in Shenzhen today denied the accusations from Mr Cheng to Chinese state media, claiming that Mr Cheng had refused to inform his family about his detention ‘because he was too ashamed’.
They said that public security units had ‘guaranteed Cheng Man-kit’s legitimate rights and interests in accordance with the law during his detention’.
Mr Cheng yesterday said on his Facebook that ‘he got a massage for relaxation after work hours’ on the day he was reported missing.
Chinese police have released surveillance footage through state media to show Simon Cheng Man-kit, a former UK consulate worker, ‘soliciting prostitutes and making confessions’
Mr Cheng, 29, claimed he had been tortured and accused of spying for Britain by Chinese police. He was detained in August after travelling from his hometown Hong Kong to Shenzhen
Police also released surveillance footage said to be of the man via People’s Daily, the mouthpiece of the Communist Party.
Police claimed Mr Cheng visited a club in Shenzhen three times within two weeks.
‘The video provided by police clearly and completely presents Cheng Man-kit soliciting prostitutes and making confessions,’ said People’s Daily.
One of the CCTV clips shows a bespectacled man in a dark top and light-coloured shorts entering a lobby at around 5:40pm on July 23. The man is then led down a corridor into a room at around 6pm. He is seen handing what seems to be a card to the receptionist and leaving the lobby at around 8:20pm.
Another clip shows a man in the same outfit entering what seems like the same lobby at around 6:20pm on July 31. Half an hour later, he is guided through a corridor, appearing to be in a bath robe. The footage shows him leaving the lobby about two hours later.
The last surveillance footage show a man, still in the same outfit, apparently visiting the same club on August 8 – the same day he was reported missing. The man arrives at around 6:40pm and leaves at around 9pm, the video shows.
Police released three CCTV clips and all of them show a man entering a lobby of a club before being led down a corridor. The videos are said to be taken on July 23, July 31 and August 8
A separate clip shows a man wearing a pink T-shirt admitting to violating the Chinese law. Police said the man was Simon Cheng and he was making confessions to an officer
Police have not revealed the details of the business captured in the videos, only referring to it as a ‘club’.
Additionally, police released a minute-long clip which – as they claimed – showed Mr Cheng admitting to his violation of law.
The video shows a man wearing a pink T-shirt which had the words ‘luo ju’, short for Luohu Detention Centre, and a number 915 on it. Police said he was Simon Cheng.
The man is heard talking in Cantonese with another man behind the camera. He is asked to explain why he refused to contact his family and lawyer while being detained by police.
The man in pink responds in Cantonese: ‘Because I think this matter is shameful. I felt ashamed of letting my family know about this matter. Therefore, [I] chose not to inform my family.’
Police expected Mr Cheng to confess that the ‘UK instigates the riots in Hong Kong by donating money, materials and equipment’, according to the 29-year-old man
Hong Kong has been rocked by anti-government protests since the beginning of June and tensions surged from last week. Pictured, medical staff help a protester leave Hong Kong Polytechnic University yesterday, on the fourth day of a stand-off with police in Hong Kong
‘What do you think of your behaviour which violated the law? Can you talk about it?’ the man behind the camera asks.
The man in pink says: ‘[I feel] embarrassed and ashamed. Because my friends would not expect me to do this. I don’t have face to see my girlfriend and family members. In fact, I feel guilty and repentant over the matter.’
He concludes: ‘I’ve decided to change and will not do it again.’
British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab yesterday said Mr Cheng’s allegations were credible and that the treatment ‘amounts to torture’.
Mr Cheng, a Hong Kong citizen, told BBC that he was shackled to a steel ‘tiger chair’, hung spread-eagled on a ‘steep X-Cross’ and beaten while being detained by police in Shenzhen
Raab told BBC radio that he summoned the Chinese ambassador to denounce the ‘disgraceful’ and ‘outrageous behaviour from the authorities in China’ which violate international law.
Mr Cheng was placed in administrative detention after visiting the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen which borders Hong Kong.
He said in a statement on Facebook that he had taken a high-speed train to Hong Kong’s West Kowloon station, where he was stopped by mainland police and sent back to Shenzhen.
Mr Cheng said police tied him to a steel ‘tiger chair,’ accused him of being a British spy and forced to do ‘extreme strength exercise’ for hours, beating him whenever he failed to complete it.
He was also shackled to an X-shaped frame that kept his hands aloft for ‘hours after hours,’ Mr Cheng wrote.
‘It felt extremely painful.’
Demonstrators in Hong Kong have staged rallies to support Mr Cheng after he went missing
Mr Cheng said he was asked if he knew anyone who worked for British intelligence agencies, what part he had played in protests and what he knew about mainland citizens who had joined the demonstrations.
China has repeatedly accused Washington and London of condoning violence in Hong Kong.
The former British colony was handed back to Beijing in 1997 under a 50-year agreement that gave Hong Kong special rights unseen on the mainland, including freedom of speech and an independent judiciary.
The protests started as a response to a now-scrapped extradition bill but has since expanded to include broader demands for democracy and investigations into police violence.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang on Wednesday said that Shenzhen police had ‘guaranteed’ Mr Cheng’s ‘legitimate rights and interests in accordance with the law.’
Geng said that he was unaware of any statements from London on Mr Cheng’s situation, but that China expressed ‘strong indignation at the recent series mistakes and deeds of the British side on the Hong Kong issue.’
British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab yesterday said Mr Cheng’s allegations were credible
China has repeatedly accused Washington and London of condoning violence in Hong Kong
Mr Cheng said he had monitored the protests as part of his work at the British consulate in Hong Kong, ‘in order to evaluate travel alerts’ and whether British citizens were involved.
Outside of work, he supported the movement and had joined the protests.
The longest round of interrogations by a team of police officers lasted 48 hours with no break, Mr Cheng said.
Police expected Mr Cheng to confess that the ‘UK instigates the riots in Hong Kong by donating money, materials and equipment’, and that he was paying the bail for mainlanders arrested by Hong Kong police using money from the UK government, Mr Cheng said.
Shenzhen police had said in August that Mr Cheng was detained for ‘violating the law of the People’s Republic of China on public safety management’.
The Global Times, a state-run tabloid, said cited police as saying that Mr Cheng had been held for ‘soliciting prostitutes’.
Hundreds of Hong Kong protesters chant ‘God Save the Queen’ and ‘We are British’ while forming a human chain around the British Consulate on October 23
Mr Cheng said he felt he had no choice but to make a filmed confession to ‘soliciting prostitution,’ a charge that he said was offered by police as an alternative to ‘indefinite criminal detention.’
Mr Cheng said he was asked during his detention by police to provide information on members of protest-related Telegram chat groups.
Police also wanted to know why protesters were becoming increasingly violent by late summer, and challenged Mr Cheng’s belief in democracy, calling him a traitor to China.
He said he had complied with some of their demands and drawn up an ‘organisational chart’ of one Telegram group.
Mr Cheng was asked if he had safeguarded the ‘Lennon Wall’ in Hong Kong’s Jordan neighbourhood, where protesters had put up messages and posters, and shown a photograph of the wall.
‘That photo is not from my mobile phone, I suspect they have eyes and ears for gathering information in Hong Kong,’ Mr Cheng wrote.
Mr Cheng said had resigned from the British consulate and fled to an unnamed third place and intended to seek asylum.
‘I won’t give up the fight for human rights, peace, freedom and democracy for the rest of my life, no matter the danger, discrimination and retaliation I will face, and no matter how my reputation will be stained,’ he wrote.
Amnesty International also said Mr Cheng’s testimony was credible because his allegations were ‘in line with the endemic torture and other ill-treatment in detention we have repeatedly documented in mainland China’.